Synopses & Reviews
A resounding testament to individuality and the power of family in all forms from the young man who “lit up the Internet” (Ellen DeGeneres)
On January 31, 2011, Zach Wahls addressed the Iowa House Judiciary Committee in a public forum regarding full marriage equality. The nineteen-year-old son of a same-sex couple, Wahls proudly proclaimed, “The sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character.” Hours later, his speech was posted on YouTube, where it went viral, quickly receiving more than two million views. By the end of the week, everyone knew his name and wanted to hear more from the boy with two moms.
Same-sex marriage will be a major—possibly the defining—issue in this year’s election cycle, and Wahls speaks to that, but also to a broader issue. Sure, he’s handsome and athletic, an environmental engineering student, and an Eagle Scout. Yet, growing up with two moms, he knows what it’s like to feel different and to fear being made fun of or worse. In the inspirational spirit of It Gets Better edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller, My Two Moms also delivers a reassuring message to same-sex couples, their kids, and anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider: “You are not alone.”
"In 2011, Wahls, a 19-year-old Eagle Scout and engineering student, stood before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee on civil unions and declared that 'the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character.' Here, Wahls follows up on what would become a viral video of his testimony with this memoir and written defense of his moms. Wahls considers a different value in each chapter (following those espoused by the Boy Scout motto, law, oath, and slogan), including obedience, kindness, reverence, helpfulness, loyalty, thriftiness, and bravery, and tells what he has learned through situations he's encountered with family and friends regarding his nontraditional family. 'I'm not gay, but I know how it feels to be in the closet,' he writes of his sometimes veiled responses when asked as a child about his father. Wahls reflects on bullies and bullying, family values, Unitarian-Universalism (of which he is an adherent), the impact of chronic disease on the family (one of his moms has MS), and the reality of a marriage between women. Wahls has a fresh voice, and while still relatively young, his evenhandedness and willingness to use his own experiences to address larger social issues is admirable and will likely appeal to all walks of life.
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“This is a wonderful book. You will love it, you will weep at times. It is an incredible demonstration of the power of real values." — Jon Stewart, during an interview on The Daily Show
“He lit up the Internet when he delivered a passionate plea to the Iowa House of Representatives in support of gay marriage. Take a look at him… a hero.” — Ellen DeGeneres, host of Ellen
“He takes on every argument against marriage equality and calmly topples them.My Two Moms augurs Zach Wahls’ inevitable career in politics. America will be the better for it.” — Chronogram
“Wahls has a fresh voice.” — Publishers Weekly
“Wahls writes an inspirational book about the power of family and love, no matter what form it takes. If this kid is any indication of future generations…we are in very good hands.” — Modern Tonic
“His story is probably one of the most convincing arguments for why gay and lesbian families matter. The movement is lucky to have Wahls – who’s both smart and sensitive – as one of its newest role models.” — Philadelphia Magazine’s “G Philly” Blog
andldquo;This is a wonderful book. You will love it, you will weep at times. It is an incredible demonstration of the power of real values.andquot; andmdash; Jon Stewart, during an interview on The Daily Show
andldquo;He lit up the Internet when he delivered a passionate plea to the Iowa House of Representatives in support of gay marriage. Take a look at himandhellip; a hero.andrdquo; andmdash; Ellen DeGeneres, host of Ellen
andldquo;He takes on every argument against marriage equality and calmly topples them.My Two Moms augurs Zach Wahlsandrsquo; inevitable career in politics. America will be the better for it.andrdquo; andmdash; Chronogram
andldquo;Wahls has a fresh voice.andrdquo; andmdash; Publishers Weekly
andldquo;Wahls writes an inspirational book about the power of family and love, no matter what form it takes. If this kid is any indication of future generationsandhellip;we are in very good hands.andrdquo; andmdash; Modern Tonic
andldquo;His story is probably one of the most convincing arguments for why gay and lesbian families matter. The movement is lucky to have Wahls andndash; whoandrsquo;s both smart and sensitive andndash; as one of its newest role models.andrdquo; andmdash; Philadelphia Magazineandrsquo;s andldquo;G Phillyandrdquo; Blog
"The thrust of Signorile's urgent message is cogent and heartfelt...A cautionary, timely gay rights manifesto with teeth." — Kirkus
"Signorile has never been more tactical and inspiring as he is in It’s Not Over, and he knows he is not just inspiring the choir anymore." — New York Journal of Books
“Enlightening and compelling, It’s Not Over is a trenchant book founded on solid evidence that reveals the truth about the current struggle for LGBT equality. Through rich detail and powerful stories, Signorile shows why we can’t let our intensity falter, and he offers an incisive, exhilarating blueprint for the future.” — Martina Navratilova
“For 25 years, Michelangelo Signorile has been one of America's most incisive critics and influential activists in the movement for gay equality, and It’s Not Over demonstrates he is better than ever. The new book is a penetrating look at one of the great social movements of our time and the challenges that lay before it. With detailed reporting and razor-sharp analysis, Signorile exposes the dangerous triumphalism that has taken hold. He reveals the bigotry and bias still deeply embedded in the media, the political establishment, and throughout American culture. And he provides an illuminating, stirring plan of action to vanquish it.” — Glenn Greenwald, author of No Place to Hide
“This page-turner cuts through illusions and lays bare the unique and ongoing oppressions lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people face. With great compassion, Michelangelo Signorile knits all of us who support equality together as a community with a purpose and a real-world plan for achieving our goals. Read this book, please, and use it.” — Kate Bornstein, author of A Queer and Pleasant Danger
“Unflinching, uncompromising, It’s Not Over is a call to arms. Signorile describes the full breadth and scope of the LGBT struggle. Indeed, the fight for equality, and for freedom for all members of the LGBT community is not over. This landmark work by an irreplaceable writer vividly illustrates why.” — José Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker, and founder of Define American
“It’s Not Over provides an eye-opening reminder of the deep roots of hatred and prejudice as well as the critical role played by LGBT activists. While the arc of the moral universe does indeed bend toward justice, Signorile is right — we cannot let ourselves be lulled into a false sense of security that we are at the end of the journey.” — Roberta Kaplan, lead attorney, U.S. v. Windsor
“Amid great progress and celebration, Signorile strikes a cautionary tone: homophobia is alive and well today, and the fight for equality is far from won. In fact, complacency and apathy are the biggest allies of well-organized conservatives who refuse to surrender their bigotry and hate. This astute book primes us to tackle the unfinished business ahead.” — Markos Moulitsas, founder, Daily Kos
A resounding testament to the power of family and a reassurance that there is no wrong way to be who you are
It has been almost two years since Zach Wahls (then 19 years old) bravely stood up in front of the Iowa House of Representative and defended gay marriage and his family. Wahls proudly proclaimed, "The sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character,” and his speech instantly went viral and became YouTube’s #1 political video of 2011.
In My Two Moms, Zach offers a stirring and brave defense of his family. Raised by two moms in a conservative Midwestern town, Zach’s parents instilled in him values that families everywhere can embrace—values driven home by his journey toward becoming an Eagle Scout. Zach’s upbringing couldn’t have been more mainstream—he played sports, was active in Boy Scouts, and led his high school speech and debate team—yet, growing up with two moms, he knows that it’s like to feel different and fear being bullied, or worse.
In the inspirational spirit of It Gets Better edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller, My Two Moms also delivers a reassuring message to same-sex couples, their kids, and anyone who's ever felt like an outsider: "You are not alone."
One of the most prominent voices on LGBT rights boldly confronts the forces still standing in the way of full equality, and charts a course toward victory.
One of the most prominent voices on politics and gay civil rights boldly confronts the hidden forces still standing in the way of full equality, and charts a hopeful course toward victory.
Marriage equality is gaining ground in dozens of states. The NFL has drafted its first openly gay player. For many Americans, it can start to feel as if the fight has been won. But as longtime advocate Michelangelo Signorile argues in this provocative and timely book, these hard-won successes are only part of the picture. Signorile dissects Washington, the entertainment industry, and the media to reveal the hidden obstacles that still stand in the way of progress, and documents signs of hope in schools and communities across the country. Telling the stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans who still face discrimination in surprising and often subtle ways—and who are finding the strength to fight back—Signorile reports from the front lines of a battle that has entered a new phase, with new priorities, new rules, and new dangers.
From the author of the groundbreaking bestseller Queer in America, a myth-shattering look at the present and future of gay rights
Marriage equality has surged across the country. Closet doors have burst open in business, entertainment, and even major league sports. But as longtime advocate Michelangelo Signorile argues in his most provocative book yet, the excitement of such breathless change makes this moment more dangerous than ever. Puncturing the illusion that victory is now inevitable, Signorile marshals stinging evidence that an age-old hatred, homophobia, is still a basic fact of American life. He exposes the bigotry of the brewing religious conservative backlash against LGBT rights and challenges the complacency and hypocrisy of supposed allies in Washington, the media, and Hollywood.
Not just a wake-up call, It's Not Over is also a battle plan for the fights to come in the march toward equality. Signorile tells the stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans who have refused to be merely tolerated, or worse, and are demanding full acceptance. And he documents signs of hope in schools and communities finding new ways to combat ignorance, bullying, and fear. Urgent and empowering, It's Not Over is a necessary book from one of our most electrifying voices.
About the Author
MICHELANGELO SIGNORILE is the best-selling author of Queer in America. He is the host of the Sirius XM radio show The Michelangelo Signorile Show and an editor-at-large of Huffington Post Gay Voices. An award-winning journalist, Signorile has written for dozens of magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, New York Magazine, Salon, and the Village Voice.